7 Best & Worst Subaru Crosstrek Years (Stats & Examples)

The Subaru Crosstrek, renowned for its versatility, off-road capabilities, and reliability, has evolved over the years with numerous updates. 

Some model years have proven exceptional in terms of performance, features, and value, while others have fallen short. 

In this article, I will explore the best and worst Subaru Crosstrek model years based on statistics, real-world experiences, and expert opinions. 

The Best and Worst Years for Subaru Crosstrek Are:

The 2016, 2017, and 2020 Subaru Crosstrek models stand out as the best and most reliable choices. These years have shown enhanced performance, improved features, and overall satisfaction. However, it is advisable to approach older models, particularly the 2013, 2014, and 2015, with caution. 

What Subaru Crosstrek Years Are the Most Reliable?

Reliability is a key factor for any vehicle, and the Subaru Crosstrek is no exception. 

When considering a Crosstrek purchase, it’s crucial to know which model years have proven to be the most dependable.

Below, we look into the data, customer experiences, and expert assessments to identify the Subaru Crosstrek years that stand out for their reliability. 

2016 Subaru Crosstrek

According to industry experts and consumer reports, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is often praised for its reliability. 

With the solid build quality and minimal reported issues, this model year stands out as a dependable choice. 

Owners have noted its longevity and commendable performance in various weather conditions, making it a reliable companion for both daily commutes and adventurous journeys.

Several key factors contribute to the overall reliability of the 2016 model year:

Solid Build Quality: Its durable chassis and high-quality materials contribute to its reliability, providing owners with a solid and long-lasting vehicle.

Dependable Performance: The Crosstrek’s drivetrain and engine performance have been praised for their reliability. The 2016 model year retains the proven Subaru Boxer engine, known for its durability and efficient power delivery. 

Minimal Reported Issues: Consumer feedback indicates that the 2016 Crosstrek has a lower incidence of major mechanical issues compared to other model years. Owners have reported fewer instances of unexpected repairs.

All-Weather Capability: Crosstrek’s renowned all-wheel-drive system is a contributing factor to its reliability, making it a dependable choice for navigating various road conditions, including snow, rain, and off-road terrain.

It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and regular maintenance following the manufacturer’s recommendations is crucial for maintaining the reliability of any vehicle. 

However, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, backed by positive expert assessments and consumer feedback, has consistently demonstrated the qualities that make it a reliable choice for drivers seeking a durable and dependable crossover SUV.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek builds upon its predecessors’ reputation for reliability and introduces several features that contribute to its dependable performance. 

In 2020, Subaru made improvements to the powertrain resulting in enhanced fuel efficiency without compromising on power. 

This upgrade not only reduces the cost of ownership but also contributes to the vehicle’s overall reliability by delivering efficient and consistent performance over time.

Furthermore, the 2020 Crosstrek retains Subaru’s renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which is a key factor in its reliability. 

The 2020 model year also benefits from Subaru’s commitment to safety, with the inclusion of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system as a standard feature in most trims. 

This advanced safety suite includes features such as:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Pre-collision braking
  • Lane departure warning

The reliability and effectiveness of these safety technologies contribute to the overall reliability of the 2020 Crosstrek by prioritizing occupant safety and reducing the risk of accidents.

In terms of build quality, owners have reported minimal unexpected repairs and have praised the vehicle’s solid build quality, emphasizing its long-lasting reliability. 

Ultimately, experts and consumers suggest the 2020 Crosstrek provides a dependable and enjoyable driving experience. 

What Subaru Crosstrek Years Should You Avoid?

While the Subaru Crosstrek has earned a reputation for reliability, not all model years have been equally impressive. 

It’s important to be aware of the Crosstrek years that have exhibited recurring problems or shortcomings to avoid potential headaches down the road. 

In the section below, we delve into comprehensive research, owner experiences, and industry insights to identify the Subaru Crosstrek model years that may not live up to expectations. 

2013 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2013 Subaru Crosstrek, while offering the versatility and reliability that Subaru is known for, had its share of issues that potential buyers should be aware of. 

One recurring problem reported by owners of this model year was excessive oil consumption. Numerous consumer reports highlighted the need for frequent oil top-ups between regular maintenance intervals.

Furthermore, the 2013 Crosstrek faced challenges related to its Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). 

Some owners experienced jerking or delayed engagement when accelerating, compromising the overall driving experience. 

Expert opinions and statistics also support the concerns surrounding the 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. Automotive experts reported a higher frequency of transmission-related complaints for this particular model year compared to its counterparts.

Despite these challenges, it is worth noting that Subaru has often taken steps to address issues through recalls or improved designs in subsequent model years. 

Potential buyers should consider seeking expert opinions, conducting thorough research, and obtaining vehicle history reports when making an informed decision about the 2013 Subaru Crosstrek.

2014 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2014 Subaru Crosstrek also faced several notable challenges that potential buyers should be aware of:

  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT): Instances of shuddering and jerking when accelerating or decelerating. In some cases, these issues escalated to the point where complete transmission replacements were necessary.
  • Premature wear and failure of suspension components: This included issues with struts, shocks, and other critical suspension parts. 
  • Overall build quality dissatisfaction: Complaints include issues with interior rattles, loose trim pieces, and excessive road noise, which diminished the overall comfort and refinement of the driving experience.

Despite these reported problems, it’s important to note that not all 2014 Subaru Crosstrek models experienced these issues, and many satisfied owners had a trouble-free ownership experience. 

2015 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2015 Subaru Crosstrek faced widespread complaints related to electrical system malfunctions, making it a model year to approach with caution. 

Owners reported various issues that affected the functionality and convenience of their vehicles. 

One common problem was related to the infotainment system, with several reports of screen freezing, unresponsive controls, or complete system failure. 

In addition, intermittent electrical failures were also reported by some consumers. 

These failures encompassed various components, including:

  • Malfunctioning backup cameras
  • Non-responsive buttons or switches
  • Sporadic issues with interior lighting

It’s worth noting that Subaru has been responsive to these issues and has taken steps to address them. In some cases, software updates were released to address the infotainment system problems. 

However, it is advisable to thoroughly inspect and test the electrical systems during a pre-purchase inspection.

2018 and 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is another model year that has has quite a few complaints.. 

Mostly around the suspension, body paint, and windshields.

What are Some Typical Problems With the Subaru Crosstrek Models?

In this section, we identify some of the typical problems that have been reported with Subaru Crosstrek models. 

By highlighting known issues, recurring concerns, and potential areas of attention, we aim to provide you with valuable knowledge to anticipate and address these challenges effectively, ensuring a more satisfying ownership experience.

Here are some of the most typical issues faced by Subaru Crosstrek owners:

  • Problems with the auto start/stop systems on some models
  • Failure of the brake light switch
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Premature rust and corrosion
  • Problems with the Subaru Eyesight System
  • Subaru’s use of soy-based wiring attracts rodents
  • Transmission reliability

Please read our article about common problems with Subaru Crosstrek vehicles for a more in-depth review.

While the Subaru Crosstrek has garnered a reputation for reliability, it is essential to be aware of common problems that owners have encountered. 

It is important to note that not all Crosstrek models experience these problems, and Subaru has often addressed concerns through recalls and improved designs in subsequent model years. 


Go back to best and worst years across all Subaru models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.